The Xhosa Baby

I went to my thyroid appointment earlier today, and a mother and her daughter — maybe around a year and a half old — were also in the waiting room.

The child was running around the space and wore shoes which were made to squeak every time she walked or kicked something. To make matters more interesting, the mother spoke only a few words to her the entire 40 minutes I was in the same room with them, choosing instead to speak in a series of strange throat and tongue clicks, raspberry noises and alien-esque “bee-boops.”

Perhaps this is the latest parenting thing — I really don’t know. All I know is that it sounded like I was among the African Xhosa tribe whose members were terrorizing a doggie squeak toy.

I realize in this digital age that interpersonal communication is a rare thing, but I’d not realized that clicking noises made up for it.

And not to be child-less and judge-y, but if you’re holding your mini-person and she drops her toy, maybe don’t dangle her upside down until she picks it up — unless you want to be the recipient of shocked looks from others also waiting to be seen. While you’re at it, pounding on the fish tank is also not ideal. I doubt the little guys inside were in the mood for a mini-tsunami…but that’s just a gut feeling.

Last, please stop allowing her to tear apart the magazines. It makes reading really, really difficult, and it’s not cute. How else am I supposed to catch up on my Guns & Ammo and The National Enquirer material?

(…because a gun magazine is totally the thing to put in front of people who’ve been waiting an hour for a delayed doctor, you know.)

Interesting waiting room experience, yes. And then I remembered why I was there: for my health. The child, though guided by interesting parenting skills, seemed healthy, was fairly cute and unscathed. Minus the dangling-upside-down move, the mother’s love for her was clearly visible. The fish, eh — they’d survive. And the available reading material wasn’t that great anyway. Kindling was a far better path for it to take.

I knew I’d be called in for the mandatory blood pressure-taking process before too long, so I put the squeaky shoes and fish abuse out of my mind, worked on some relaxed breathing and found my zen zone — right after the mom and daughter were summoned back to their room.

Tonight I am thankful for finding peace amid squeakiness, quiet with noise lurking just around the corner and calm in the middle of chaos. I’ll take squeaky shoes over being nestled among sickly patients any day, and squeaks were delivered in abundance today.

Here’s to accepting the squeaks in our own lives each day, with patience to spare.

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